|Vulva anatomy (Clitoral hood is #3)|
|A photograph of the human vulva, with the clitoris obscured by the clitoral hood and folds of the labia minora.|
In a female human anatomy, the clitoral hood, (also called preputium clitoridis and clitoral prepuce), is a fold of skin that surrounds and protects the clitoral glans. It develops as part of the labia minora and is homologous with the foreskin (equally called prepuce) in male genitals.
This is a protective hood of skin that covers the clitoral glans. There is no standard size or shape for the hood. Some women have large clitoral hoods that completely cover the clitoral glans. Some of these can be retracted to expose the clitoral glans; others do not retract. Other women have smaller hoods that do not cover the full length of the clitoral glans, leaving the clitoral glans exposed all the time. As in the male, sticky bands of tissue called adhesions can form between the hood and the glans, these stick the hood onto the glans so the hood cannot be pulled back to expose the glans.
It is increasingly common to have the hood pierced and a ring inserted in a similar way to an ear piercing. Though much less common, other women opt to have the hood surgically trimmed or removed so as to permanently expose part or all of the clitoral head. Such a procedure is very much like male circumcision and is also known as female circumcision, but should not be confused with more extensive forms.
Women with larger hoods can often masturbate by working the hood to and fro over the clitoral glans. Women with more compact structures tend to rub the clitoral glans and hood together as one item.Sometimes the glans clitoris is too sensitive to be rubbed with the hood fully pulled back.
Female genital cutting
Female genital cutting involves the removal of the clitoral hood or even more drastic, the whole clitoris and labia minora. There have also been cases in which the outer labia have been removed. These cases are mainly found in tribal regions which practice female circumcision, usually at puberty. Female genital cutting is now widely discouraged and in some regions of the world it is illegal, but the removal of the prepuce is still practised in some rural areas because it is thought to inhibit sexual arousal thus keeping women "more pure" according to them.
- Illu female genitalia.jpg
Female external genitalia.
- female genitals
- clitoridotomy: removal or splitting of the clitoral hood
- Frenulum clitoridis (or crus glandis clitoridis): a frenulum surrounding the clitoris